Even though wireless systems are becoming more widespread (AirPlay, Bluetooth speakers, etc.), speaker docking systems are still a very popular music accessory for iPhone users who want to expand the usefulness of their Apple device for digital music. As well as gaining a set of Hi-Fi speakers for your iPhone, docking stations typically have other benefits too. For instance, many come with clock radios so you can wake up to the sound of your iTunes songs or favorite radio stations. There's also the convenience of having your iPhone charge up while it is docked and playing music.
The following list of docks use the 30-pin Apple connector. If you've got an iPhone 5, then you will need a lightning to 30-pin adapter (Compare Prices) to use it.
If audio quality is of paramount importance, then the Logitech S715i speaker dock is a stellar performer. It has a built-in rechargeable battery too which is strong enough to last up to 8 hours (according to the technical specifications). This makes it a flexible solution for easy music listening if you are looking for a dock you can quickly reposition around your home rather than having to consider where you can site it to reach an AC power outlet.
The audio output of the Logitech S715i comes via an impressive set of drivers -- no less than 8! These are: two 3" Neodymium Drivers (lazer tuned); two 1/2" Neodymium tweeters, and four 2" Passive Radiator woofers. This set of speakers are well balanced and give excellent sound. Bass reproduction is plentiful and high frequencies are clear and crisp.
There's also a 3.5 mm auxiliary input on the unit to enable you to connect other devices you may have such as MP3 players, PMPs, smartphones, etc. The only thing that might put you off purchasing the Logitech S715i is that it doesn't have extra features that many other competing docks have -- like a clock radio for example.
If you are looking for a budget iPhone speaker dock that doesn't break the bank, then you may want to consider the iHome iP90. It has a reasonable feature set and comes with an attractive price tag at under $60. The display on the front of the unit is well laid out and provides information on things like time, date, alarm settings, etc. The display is also extremely well lit which can also be dimmed if necessary (or disabled altogether).
The iHome IP90 has a built-in dual alarm with 2-5-7 modes for different alarm settings -- the weekend for example. The unit also has an integrated radio with presets for storing your favorite FM and AM stations. You can use this speaker dock to play your iTunes songs as an alarm too. One nice feature is Time Sync which makes it easy to synchronize the time on your iPhone (or even iPod) by pressing a button while it is docked.
On the audio front, the iHome IP90 might not be big on bass or as sonically impressive as the higher-end (and priced) systems, but it still manages to out good sound. However, if audio quality is at the top of your list (rather than just casual listening), then you might want to look elsewhere.
As with most speaker dock systems, the iHome IP90 also sports a 3.5 mm mini-jack auxiliary input so you can interface other audio equipment you may have like portable media players, etc.
The Sony ICF-CS15IP is a solid stereo speaker dock for your iPhone (also iPod Touch and iPad compatible) that doesn't disappoint when it comes to its features. Even though there's only two audio drivers in its stereo speaker system (some like the Logitech S715i have many more), this unit delivers pristine sound that can be further boosted by Sony's Mega Bass and Mega Xpand technologies to enrich your listening experience.
If you're looking for a speaker dock that also doubles as an alarm, then the Sony ICF-CS15IP could be the perfect solution for you. It has dual alarms that can be set interdependently which can be used with your iPhone, or if you prefer tuned into a radio station -- there's also a buzzer. If you have other portable devices with digital music on them, you can also use these via the built-in 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack.
Sony also offer an app that you can download called, D-Sappli, which enables you to directly control sleep and play settings from your Apple device -- it also enhances some of the dock's speaker functions too.As with all the speaker docks listed in this article, you may require a lightning to 30-pin adapter (Compare Prices) if your Apple device is newer.